College Football 2023 Preview. College football is finally back for another exciting season. Here are some highlights of what you can expect in Week 1.
Thursday, August 31st
Florida Gators at No. 14 Utah Utes (-6.5, 45.5)
Both teams have seen some changes in the offseason, but the big question for this game is whether Utah’s quarterback Cameron Rising will be playing. He suffered a torn ACL last season and has not been confirmed to play yet. Rising threw for 3,034 yards and 26 touchdowns last year, bringing the team to a Pac-12 Championship for the second year in a row.
Their top receiver sustained a knee injury in Week 4 last year and has been out ever since. They’ll need him to return since they lost two of their top three receivers. Still, Utah should be able to defeat Florida, who has a new quarterback and only one of four of its top receivers returning.
Saturday, September 2nd
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. No. 21 North Carolina Tar Heels (-2.5, 64.5)
Drake Maye is the quarterback for the Tar Heels and is regarded as one of the nation’s top two or three college quarterbacks. He passed for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2022 with only seven interceptions. He’s working in new receivers now that Josh Downs has departed. They’ll need to work on better pass protection for him if they want to move up in the rankings.
The Gamecocks hope to continue the trend they set at the end of last season when they beat two top-10 ranked teams.
South Alabama Jaguars at No. 24 Tulane Green Wave (-6.5)
South Alabama’s quarterback, Carter Bradley, threw for 3,336 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in 2022. He had a 64.8 completion percentage. Tulane’s quarterback, Michael Pratt, threw for 3,010 yards and 27 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He also ran for 478 yards and ten touchdowns.
Last year’s stats for both teams were similar, which means this might be a closer game than anticipated. Tulane was 20th in yards per play with 6.3, and South Alabama was 51st with 5.6. Tulane was 31st in allowed yards per play at 5.1, while South Alabama was 39th with 5.2.
Sunday, September 3rd
No. 8 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 5 LSU Tigers (-2.5, 58)
Week 1 features one matchup of two top 10 teams. This is the second year in a row the two teams have met in Week 1 at a neutral site. This year, it’s taking place in Orlando.
The Seminoles look to extend their winning streak over the Tigers to six games, but LSU are the 2.5-point favorites. Their defense is strong against the ground game; however, they will miss their star defensive lineman, Maason Smith, who is suspended for this matchup. The Seminoles can take advantage of his absence, led by quarterback Jordan Travis.
Travis had a 3,000-yard passing season last year and is a contender for the Heisman trophy this year. He has playmakers around him, like Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman and 6′ 7″ receiver Johnny Wilson.
LSU has its own Heisman contender quarterback, Jayden Daniels. He’ll be working their ground game to win this one. Coach Brian Kelly is in his second year with the club and has been working the transfer portal to build this team up. They’re still short a WR1 since Kayshon Boutte left.
These two evenly matched teams should produce one of the closest games of the weekend.
Monday, September 4th
No. 9 Clemson Tigers (-12.5, 55.5) at Duke Blue Devils
The lone game on Monday will be with one of the top ten teams. Clemson is expected to have an elite offense with their five-star recruit, quarterback Cade Klubnik. They also have Garrett Riley as their offensive coordinator, who put together the incredible TCU offense that allowed them to attend the National Championship Game in 2022.
Duke has their own stellar quarterback. Riley Leonard threw for 2,976 yards and 20 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. On the ground, he added 699 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing. Duke’s defense isn’t good enough to hold back Clemson, but the two teams have enough offensive power to push over the 55.5 points total.
Other Games of Note
The games with ranked teams will be good to follow, and see how they do in the first few weeks.
Saturday, September 2nd
UT Martin at No. 1 Georgia
East Carolina at No. 2 Michigan (-17.5, 56)
No. 3 Ohio State (-30, 60) at Indiana
Middle Tennessee at No. 4 Alabama (-39.5)
Nevada at No. 6 USC (-38.5)
West Virginia at No. 7 Penn State (-20.5, 50.5)
Boise State at No. 10 Washington (-14.5, 58.5)
Rice at No. 11 Texas (-35)
No. 12 Tennessee (-28, 57.5) vs. Virginia
Tennessee State at No. 13 Notre Dame
Portland State at No. 15 Oregon
SE Missouri State at No. 16 Kansas State
Colorado at No. 17 TCU (-20.5, 60.5)
Buffalo at No. 19 Wisconsin (-27.5)
Arkansas State at No. 20 Oklahoma (-35, 58)
Mercer at No. 22 Ole Miss
New Mexico at No. 23 Texas A&M (-38)
Utah State at No. 25 Iowa (-25.5)
Sunday, September 3rd
No. 18 Oregon State (-16.5, 54.5) at San Jose State
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